The National Tourism Promotion Fund (FONATUR) recognized that the Maya Train project does not have the environmental impact assessments that should be a requirement for infrastructure construction according to the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (LGEEPA) that entered in force in 1988.
According to the LGEEPA for the completion of works and infrastructures, the necessary presentation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is established before the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, SEMARNAT.
“The environmental impact assessment is the procedure through which the Ministry establishes the conditions to which the execution of works and activities that may cause ecological imbalance or exceed the limits and conditions established in the applicable provisions to protect the environment and preserve and restore ecosystems, in order to avoid or minimize their negative effects on the environment”, Article 28 of the LGEEPA states.
In an explanatory note, published on June 7th in response to Reforma newspaper after an article that stated that the Maya Train had started without the necessary environmental authorizations, FONATUR denied these statements because it considers that the Maya Train project is maintenance work for the rehabilitation and improvement of railways, which have existed since before 1988, before the LGEEPA came into force, for which they requested and obtained an exemption.
The Maya Train project has produced voices of concern and criticism from various environmental organizations about the environmental impacts that the project could cause, also questioning the lack of information on possible impacts. The Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA) highlights risks and impacts such as ecosystem division, depletion and contamination of the aquifer, deforestation and extinction of flora and fauna.
For more information in Spanish:
Nota aclaratoria, (Fonatur, 7 de junio)
Postura del Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental respecto al Proyecto Tren Maya, (CEMDA, 8 de junio)
Fonatur admite que Tren Maya no tiene evaluación ambiental (Proceso, 8 de junio)
Fonatur reconoce que ha usado antigua ley para Tren Maya y aún falta autorización ambiental (Reporte Indigo, 9 de junio)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Oaxaca: AMLO Inaugurates Trans-Isthmus Corridor; Civil Organizations Say “He’s Taking Advantage of Pandemic”(June 11, 2020)
National: Claims Fracking Continues in 4T; AMLO Denies it (May 20, 2020)
National: CNDH Issues Precautionary Measures for Indigenous Peoples of Yucatan and Requests Halt to Maya Train Works (May 18, 2020)